There is no precedent for what is happening in Washington these days.

The Capitol Storming Committee of Inquiry, which spent months gathering intelligence behind closed doors and now meets in public, has no law enforcement role.

The nine members of the committee - two of them conservative Never-Trumpers - are working against the clock.

Republicans hope to win a majority in the House of Representatives in the fall congressional elections and then consider dissolving the committee they are boycotting.

The Democrats, at least most of them, don't think they'll be able to turn the election all over again by putting the spotlight on January 6, 2021.

Your goal is to use the final report to increase the pressure on the judiciary to bring charges against Donald Trump.

He would be the first president not only to face two charges of impeachment but also to be prosecuted for his actions.

In the case of Richard Nixon, his successor Gerald Ford forestalled a lawsuit.

In 1974, a month after resigning over the Watergate scandal, Ford addressed the American people, saying that a protracted legal battle against the former president would rekindle tensions in the country and further polarize the populace.

Then he picked up a pen and signed an unqualified pardon for any crimes Nixon might have committed as president.

The Attorney General's Burden

Joe Biden could also pre-emptively pardon Trump – relieving Merrick Garland of the burden of deciding whether to become the first United States Attorney General to impeach a former president.

But the Trump case is very different from the Watergate affair: Biden would spare any man who was willing to break the law to prevent the transfer of power to him from prosecution.

A particular irony would be that Trump would be pardoned by the president whose legitimacy he still denies to this day.

Politically, such a step would have serious consequences: Although a pardon is not an acquittal, Trump would see it as exactly that.

Again, he could accuse Congress of a witch hunt and, from his point of view, go into the 2024 election campaign completely unburdened – presumably again against Biden.

It is extremely unlikely that this will happen: Biden is said to have said internally months ago that he was in favor of impeaching Trump.

So Garland will have to decide – even if he theoretically has the option to declare himself biased and use a special counsel.

Either way, the Attorney General faces a dilemma: if indicted, the rift running through American society will deepen.

Almost 60 percent of Americans are in favor of the former president having to answer to a court.

However, the hard core of the other camp can be easily mobilized.

Trump is capable of anything - even an appearance at a rally before his first court date.

There is no guarantee that the democratic institutions will withstand the pressure a second time.

But if Garland decides against an indictment, Trump would be in an even better position than if he were given an act of mercy.

In addition, a precedent would be set: future presidents could feel encouraged to whistle on the "checks and balances".

Incriminating testimony from Republican witnesses

Trump himself apparently expects an indictment.

In the meantime, he has gotten legal advice and is preparing: He had “the feeling” that the election had been manipulated.

This is how he wants to counter the accusation that he acted with “criminal intent”.

He knows that the judiciary, unlike the committee, must also take exculpatory circumstances into account.

On the other hand, the descriptions of mainly Republican witnesses are before the committee: For example, it was explained to the President who had been voted out that the allegation of electoral fraud was "nonsense", as the then Attorney General William Barr put it.

He was also told that his attempt to prevent the transfer of power was clearly illegal.

A federal judge has already ruled that the former president was likely guilty of fraudulently conspiring against the United States and obstructing Congress's authentication of the election results.

The American rule of law must demonstrate that no one is above the law.

Trump must be indicted - even if the process is another stress test for democracy in America.

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